The Publishers Hotel, Franklin Street

20151104_185054Disclaimer: I was a guest at the hotel’s new menu launch

I’m sure I’ve said it before but I’m so pleased that Adelaide’s pubs are starting to break out of the ‘pub food’ model.

There’s nothing wrong with a schnitzel parmigiana or a plate of salt and pepper squid but there’s also nothing wrong with doing either of those things well or, indeed, putting something a bit more interesting on your menu.

The Publishers, despite its ‘est. 1914′ strap line, is actually a relatively new player in Adelaide’s bar scene. It has been open around 18 months – the ‘1914’ refers to the year in which the building was built.

It didn’t start life as a pub – but rather home to the Stock Journal, which was apparently printed and circulated from this site until 1991. The building then found itself re-purposed as a backpackers hostel before laying dormant for a few years.

Adelaide has an ever diminishing number of lovely old buildings, so it’s great that this one has not been razed and turned into apartments.

You enter the hotel through the bar and the dining room is at the rear. By February next year there will also be a beer garden and function rooms.

We started our evening in the bar with house-smoked oysters and The Lane’s Lois sparkling wine. In the dining room, we sat down to tables laden with glassware and beautiful Nick Mount carafes and decanters, which have been produced exclusively for the hotel. I have a weakness for this type of thing so the Publishers was well on its way to scoring a big tick!

Thankfully (for those of us who prefer to eat hot food rather than take photos of it!) the kitchen brought out main course size plates of food to a dedicated ‘photo table’ while our actual dishes were built as tasting plates, so we could sample a little bit of everything.

For entrée the plate consisted of ocean trout confit, served with crispy olives, Persian feta and and mint sauce. As the hotel has a focus on local ingredients, both the olives and feta were from the Limestone Coast. I really enjoyed this and while you might not consider feta with fish as a ‘thing’ – it definitely worked.

I wasn’t quite so enamoured of the venison carpaccio. The venison is smoked in house and served with capers, finger lime and strawberry. The strawberry means it’s something I’d never order (as much as I love both venison and carpaccio) and quite weirdly, given the capers, I found it a little under-seasoned. It could definitely have done with an extra hit of finger lime.

Next up, the quail wrapped in speck, served with fennel puree and kumera crisps, was really very good although the speck did mean it was quite salty. The quail was kept very moist though and I enjoyed the fennel puree.

Finally, the breaded lamb terrine – which didn’t sound much chop and looked a bit clunky on the plate, when compared with its very delicate little friends. However, this was really very good and pips the trout as my favourite dish, mainly because it surprised me. The seasoning was spot on and the meat was beautifully soft. 20151104_201647main course (clockwise, staring bottom left): pork, kangaroo, spatchcock and gnocchi

Main courses were a 50-50 split for me. The kangaroo rump was a bit overcooked (and I absolutely respect that the kitchen was producing a small portion for a large number of people, making this a tough one) but the candied cumquats with which it was served were a surprise hit. I have plenty of preserved cumquats at home (in various forms – brandied, pickled, marmalade) and matching them with game is definitely something I need to pursue.

I actually also found the pork belly a touch dry BUT this was served with peppered, grilled pineapple which was just BRILLIANT. This is another thing I need to experiment with – it’s just a shame that Andy won’t eat pineapple …

The two standout main courses for me were the spatchcock served with chermoula, quinoa, puffed wild rice and chargrilled lemon. This was lovely with the chargrilled lemon looking amazing and adding both sauce and seasoning to the chicken.

The gnocchi romana I noted as ‘excellent’. Almost without a doubt this would have been what I would have ordered, left to my own devices. Gnocchi romana is polenta based, and the grilled slices of polenta were served with crispy silverbeet, pickled carrot, fennel puree and pine nuts. All things that I love!

For dessert we were treated to the chef’s ‘picnic’. Chocolate mousse, chewy caramel, tuile and chocolate almonds. Yep – that was good too!

I love that the menu at the Publishers is short and there is an obvious emphasis on quality with just the right amount of innovation.

Throughout the evening we were treated to a very impressive wine line up. After The Lane’s Lois we were served Karawatta’s Barrel Fermented Sauvignon Blanc, Rusden Special Blend GMS 2001 (from a magnum), Honey Moon Pinot Noir and Red House Sangiovese. We finished with the Gestalt Botrytised Viognier. If you’re not as obsessed with wine as I am, let me tell you – this is a lovely, interesting and thoughtful line up of wines.

I’ve been to many events where the wine has been a very sad afterthought. While the Publishers’ entire wine list is not online if the wines we were served were anything to go by, it’s worth dropping in for a drink alone. And if you have to choose just one – choose the Honey Moon Pinot Noir.

Overall, the team at The Publishers did itself proud and this is definitely a venue worth checking out – whether for a drink or meal.

The Publishers Hotel
110 Franklin Street
Adelaide SA 5000
(08) 8212 7969

Publishers Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ottolenghi’s Baby Spinach Salad


Today, for the first time this ‘summer’ (it’s not actually summer yet), the mercury topped 40°C. Tomorrow’s 35 seems almost chilly by comparison (cough, splutter).

So it would seem that salad season is well and truly upon us.

I would love to pretend that we routinely eat interesting salads but … woooah, that is so not true. We throw some lettuce, tomato and cucumber on a plate. Maybe there’s also avocado or spring onions. And if I’ve thought ahead and been able to track down both Australian feta and olives then they’ll be on the plate too. I don’t like dressing, so that doesn’t even get a look in.

And you know what? I actually LIKE salad.

Anyway, my slender repertoire now has an extension.

A friend organised a ‘cookbook club afternoon’ (for want of a more pithy term). A book was chosen (Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem) and we were all to select different recipes and then come together and share our creations.

Circumstances meant I knew I was going to pushed for time so I picked a salad (it turned out that this was horrendously lazy when compared with other efforts …). In haste I chose the baby spinach and date salad. It ticked all my boxes – easy to shop for, quick to make. Job done.

Come Sunday morning I was able to throw this together, keeping aside the dressing to stir through at the last minute. While I was concerned about the sweetness of the dates, they worked really well and the vinegar and onion helped offset the sweetness. The almonds, of course, added crunch.

You can easily make this in advance – not too much because the pita won’t retain its crispness – but it’s definitely a ‘prep first thing in the morning’ kind of dish. And it tastes really good too!

Ottolenghi’s Baby Spinach Salad


  • ½ red onion, very finely sliced
  • 100g pitted dates, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g pita bread, torn into generous bite sized pieces
  • 75g almonds, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp sumac
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes (or to taste, but don't go crazy)
  • 150g baby spinach leaves
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice


  1. Place the sliced onion, dates and vinegar in a small bowl and leave for about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Heat the butter and 1tbsp oil in a pan and add the pita bread and nuts. Toast until the almonds take on colour and the pita gets all lovely and crispy. Remove from the heat and stir through the sumac and chilli.
  3. Drain any remaining vinegar from the onion and dates (in my case, there was pretty much none).
  4. Toss the spinach with the dates and onion and pita and almond mix.
  5. When ready to serve, pour over the remaining 1tbsp of oil and lemon juice (I actually shook them together) and season to taste.
  6. Serve immediately.

Chef Kim, Hazelwood Park

20151104_130356kim chi pancake – food of the gods

date of visit: Wednesday 4 November 2015

I read about Chef Kim about six months ago and even though I love Korean food (well, kimchi …) the fact that it is in Hazelwood Park meant it never made the list.

Still, it’s obviously been sitting in the back of my mind percolating away, as last Wednesday it turned out I had a couple of chores to run at various ends of town and Andy suggested meeting for lunch.

He is constantly on about how poor the lunch selection in Dulwich (the suburb in which he works) is so it was a stroke of genius that saw me remember Chef Kim and float it as a contender.

Andy is not quite as enthusiastic about kimchi as I am (apparently, the idea of kimchi and rice for breakfast is not up there with the all-time great breakfasts … sooooo wrong) but he loves Korean food so we headed off to check it out.

We arrived just before one and there were a couple of biggish tables just finishing up and another table of two – so things were quiet. Wednesday lunch – who’d have thought it?


At lunch the menu is a bit shorter than dinner with the grilled dishes and ‘mains’ not available, but as compensation there is a ‘lunch box’ menu. Andy opted for the spicy pork lunchbox (spicy pork, miso, rice, pickles) and I had the kimchi pancake and dumplings. We paired these with a beer for Andy and the brown rice green tea for me.

The food came out reasonably quickly (but not suspiciously so!) and the kimchi pancake got the thumbs up. Apparently, the kimchi at Chef Kim is house-made: it’s crunchy, spicy and vinegar-y so all good there. The dumplings were really tasty but they weren’t a patch on those you’ll find at Mandoo, which remains my all time dumpling favourite.

20151104_130402spicy pork lunch box

Andy’s spicy pork was, indeed spicy and also really good. I got to hoover up the miso and, for $13.80, it was a solid lunch.

The icing on the cake for us was that Chef Kim is in the Entertainment Book and our lunch set us back just $32 (it would have been about $42 otherwise).

While they were hardly under the pump, the service was attentive, efficient and friendly (that’s kind of my holy trinity), without being in your face.

If you have only a half hour for lunch, you might be a bit pressed for time to dine in at Chef Kim but … they do takeaway, so you are sorted.

I loved it there. OK – they served me a kimchi pancake. But I loved it and I have no doubt we’ll make the trip across town again to try out some dishes from the full menu.

Which means – if you live in any of the inner suburbs you should be heading to Chef Kim immediately!

Chef Kim
4 Linden Avenue
Hazelwood Park SA 5066
phone: 8338 7831

Chef Kim Korean Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato